European Assists King 2023/24: Who has created the most goals?

Carlo Garganese
Carlo Garganese
  • Updated:
  • 8 min read
Xavi Simons, RB Leipzig
© ProShots

Achieving the most assists in Europe is no easy task, but the departure of Lionel Messi may make the challenge slightly more doable for the top football stars on the continent.

Messi's exit from Paris Saint-Germain to Inter Miami in MLS means the Argentina star, who has been one of the best creative players in Europe's top five leagues for more than a decade, is no longer part of this competition.

However, Messi did finish on a high in the European Assists King award.

He had 16 assists for PSG in Ligue 1 last season and was the joint winner along with Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne and Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann.

Messi, who has now joined Inter Miami, won this award with PSG
© ProShots - Messi, who has now joined Inter Miami, won this award with PSG

Messi set the all-time record for La Liga assists (192) during his time with Barcelona and remained one of Europe's most creative players at PSG.

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With Messi no longer in the running, De Bruyne and Griezmann will again be among the contenders for success this season, as will former winners Thomas Muller and Kylian Mbappe.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is another notable player with a good career record for goals created.

Assists are a more variable statistic than goals, so there is a chance a surprise contender emerges once the season begins.

MORE: Who has the most Premier League assists?

The 2023/24 European Assist King award will be won by the player who provides the most assists in the top five European leagues – the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1.

There are no coefficients or scales used for these leagues - just ranking the most goals created by each player in the top-five leagues condensed into a single table.

READ MORE: Manchester United top scorers 2023/24

We will also track the players who produce the most assists in each of those five divisions individually and this page will be updated with the latest standings throughout the campaign.

Who has the most assists in Europe?

Mohamed Salah is one of seven players with the most assists in Europe for the 2023/24 season.

The Liverpool forward is tied on four assists with James Maddison, Caio Henrique, Alex Baena, Pedro Neto, Savio and Xavi Simons in the latest European Assists King award standings.

Alphonso Davies, Robert Lewandowski, Phil Foden, Kaoru Mitoma and Takumi Minamino are among a host of high-profile players on three assists, putting them among the top early performers.

European Assists King 2023/24

Caio HenriqueMonaco4
James MaddisonTottenham4
Pedro NetoWolves4
Mohamed SalahLiverpool4
Alex BaenaVillarreal4
Xavi SimonsRB Leipzig4
Alphonso DaviesBayern3
Takumi MinaminoMonaco3
Phil FodenMan City3
Jeremie FrimpongLeverkusen3
Julian AlvarezMan City3
Kaoru MitomaBrighton3
Marcus ThuramInter3
Jean-Philippe MatetaCrystal Palace3
Federico DimarcoInter3
Pascal StenzelStuttgart3
Joshua KimmichBayern3
Harry KaneBayern3
Robert LewandowskiBarcelona3
James Ward-ProwseWest Ham3
Ermedin DemirovicAugsburg3
Aissa LaidouniUnion Berlin3
Serge AurierN Forest2
Pervis EstupinanBrighton2
Nico WilliamsAthletic Club2
Ilkay GundoganBarcelona2
Giovanni Di LorenzoNapoli2
Ollie WatkinsAston Villa2
Thomas MullerBayern1

Salah and Neto impressed in the same Premier League game, as Liverpool won 3-1 at Wolves.

Liverpool star Salah set up two goals in the contest at Molineux, while Neto created the opener scored by his team-mate Hwang Hee-chan.

Salah has also created goals against Chelsea and Newcastle so far this season, while Neto had two in the same game in Wolves' 3-2 loss at Crystal Palace.

Monaco's Caio was the first player across Europe's top five leagues to reach four assists in the race to be named the most creative player on the continent. He racked up 17 assists in Ligue 1 over the previous two seasons and has made a fast start this time around too, including setting up two goals in Monaco's 3-0 win over Lens.

Previously it was Davies who had the most assists in Europe's top five leagues after making an impressive opening to the campaign for Bayern Munich, setting up two goals in the German champions' 4-0 win at Werder Bremen to start the new Bundesliga season.

The Canada player followed that up in Bayern's first home match, creating a goal for Harry Kane as Thomas Tuchel's men recorded a 3-1 victory.

As for ex-Liverpool attacking midfielder Minamino, he has made a superb start for Monaco. Through six Ligue 1 games, the Japan international has scored three goals and added three assists.

On Matchday 2 in England, new West Ham signing James Ward-Prowse had two assists in a big win over Chelsea and later moved on to three goals created after setting up a strike at Luton.

Tottenham attacking midfielder Maddison set up both of his team's goals in their dramatic 2-2 draw away to Brentford in the Premier League on week one of the season.

As Spurs try to cope with the departure of Kane, they will be reliant on Maddison's contribution both as a scorer and a goal creator in 2023/24, and he netted in the wins over Bournemouth and Burnley, before setting up two more goals in Spurs' thrilling 2-2 derby draw at Arsenal.

Serie A and the Bundesliga started one week later so they are slightly behind the other three leagues, but that has not stopped Simons, who is on loan at RB Leipzig from PSG, from joining Salah and five other stars at the top.

Simons had two assists in RB Leipzig's 5-1 win over Stuttgart in the second week of the season and has kicked on from there.

Most Assists in Europe: Previous Winners

The title for most assists in Europe was shared by three players last season. Lionel Messi (PSG), Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) and Antoine Griezmann (Atletico) all registered 16 assists to share the crown.

MORE: Premier League top scorers 2023/24

Of the other divisions, Dortmund star Raphael Guerreiro finished on top of the Bundesliga assists charts with 12 goals created. That meant he finished in a tie with Premier League duo Mohamed Salah and Leandro Trossard for fourth place overall.

Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia had the most assists in Serie A with 10.

Thomas Müller and Kylian Mbappe shared the European Assists King award in the 2021/22 season with a sensational 18 goals created each, beating Messi (14) into third place.

Salah (13) was again in a tie for fourth position overall that year after registering the most Premier League assists, while Domenico Berardi and Ousmane Dembele (both 13) came out on top in Serie A and La Liga respectively.

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Muller was named the European Assists King outright in each of the previous two seasons (2019/20 and 2020/21), as he recorded 40 assists across those campaigns in the Bundesliga.

Thomas Muller's assists record is incredible
© ProShots - Thomas Muller's assists record is incredible

The Bayern star finished five assists clear of joint runners-up Harry Kane and Filip Kostic in 2020/21, with 19 goals created in total.

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Iago Aspas (13) had the most assists in La Liga that season, while Ruslan Malinovskiy and Memphis Depay (both 12) topped the assist charts in Serie A and Ligue 1 respectively.

Muller’s first crown came when he had 21 assists to only just beat Messi, who had 20 in La Liga 2019/20 for Barcelona. De Bruyne was another to narrowly miss out after he also set up 20 goals and topped the Premier League charts.

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The award for most creative player in Europe in 2018/19 went to Eden Hazard. He had 15 assists for Chelsea, meaning he narrowly beat Jadon Sancho (14) and Ryan Fraser (14) to the award.

De Bruyne has always had an impressive record for goals created
© ProShots - De Bruyne has always had an impressive record for goals created

De Bruyne had the most assists in Europe during 2017/18. He created 16 goals for his Man City team-mates to claim the title. Leroy Sane (15), Dimitri Payet (14) and Luis Alberto (14) all narrowly missed out.

Previous winners

2022/23Messi (PSG), De Bruyne (Man City), Griezmann (Atletico): All Shared16
2021/22Müller (Bayern), Mbappe (PSG): Both shared18
2020/21Thomas Müller (Bayern)19
2019/20Thomas Müller (Bayern)21
2018/19Eden Hazard (Chelsea)15
2017/18Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)16

What is an assist?

An assist in football is usually credited to the player who plays the final pass or cross before a goal is scored. A player may receive recognition for creating a goal by being awarded an assist even if the pass or touch they have made to set up the goalscorer is unintentional.

There can be slight differences in how assists are recorded and allocated depending on the criteria of each official competition. For example, if a player’s pass towards a goalscorer takes a deflection on its way to the intended target, an assist is often not credited. A player who wins a penalty that is then scored does not usually get an assist either.

As well as being a recognised official statistic, assists are often important in fantasy football games and betting markets.